The nation’s largest drugstore chain is hearing from East Tennessee parents and grandparents looking for reassurance about health and safety of consumer products. Many people from Knoxville are sending postcards to Walgreens via the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families grassroots effort called Mind the Store.
In the day when one of out six children has a learning or developmental disability and as many as 90% of childhood cancers may have environmental links, parents feel it’s unacceptable for everyday consumer products to contain toxic chemicals of high concern. HealthyStuff.org recently tested products from Walgreens, finding disturbing levels of toxic chemicals like phthalates, PVC, and even lead. You can find several products at Walgreens that contain chemicals with noted health concerns, per the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. We told you about this recently here on the Flour Sack Mama blog.
If you’ve never thought about everyday toxic chemical exposures, parenthood is typically the wake-up call. Several expectant or new mothers shared with us their concerns recently during the Knoxville Natural Parenting Expo. Many had already begun cleaning up their household supplies, simplifying their beauty routine and being mindful of what they bought for the baby.
Several caring fathers visited the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families booth to get tip sheets and share that they, also are very concerned about limiting environmental health hazards around the home.
Grandparents are taking an interest in keeping a non-toxic home and seeking out the safest products for grandchildren.
We met an enthusiastic mix of people, all concerned about the children in their lives, who’ll be taking this letter to their local Walgreens store manager and who are also sending postcards to Walgreens corporate headquarters asking the retail leader to Mind the Store. They’re asking Walgreens to make a plan for eliminating the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals from their supply chain. Unlike Walmart and Target, which have begun to take positive steps, Walgreens has yet to respond to its customers.
Parents should not need an advanced science degree to shop for sunscreen, household cleaners or baby gear. Yet, the careless marketplace in the United States has allowed hundreds, if not thousands of questionable chemicals linked to health concerns into our common household products.
While we wait for retailers to take action, here are a few tips from SCHF and partners on shopping smarter:
- Avoid triclosan in anti-bacterial soaps and hand sanitizers
- Avoid the word “fragrance” on any product, as that is synthetic and often contains dangerous phthalates
- Avoid pesticide residue on food by choosing organic when possible
- Avoid these ingredients linked to health concerns in sunscreen: oxybenzone, octinoxate, BHT
- Never microwave food in plastic
- Switch to natural cleaning products with disclosed ingredients
Tomorrow on the Flour Sack Mama blog, see the many faces of this year’s popular Knoxville Natural Parenting Expo!